GENERAL CHAIRMEN 2021

BELGIUM

Pedro Ballesteros Torres MW

VIA Italian Wine Ambassador, Master of Wine

Pedro Ballesteros Torres is a Master of Wine. He got his Agrofood Engineer Degree and his Master Degree in Viticulture & Oenology at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. He also got the WSET Diploma, the Weinakademiker certificate, and he followed various other wine specialisation studies. He is columnist at Planeta Vino, Selectus Wineselmundovino.com (Spain), Libre BelgiqueDe MorgenDernière Heure (Belgium), writes regularly for Decanter (UK), and writes occasionally for magazines in Switzerland, Italy, France and USA. He was a co-Chair at Decanter World Wine Awards (UK), and a Chair and Senior judge at many international wine competitions. He was in the Governing Council of the Institute of Masters of Wine, of the Spanish Taster Union, of the International Federation of Wine Journalists, and in the Advisory Board of the Basque Culinary Centre. Expert at OIV for Spain, he has given several hundred lectures and tutored tastings all over the world in Spanish, English, French and Italian.

UK

Robert Joseph

Editor at Large, Meininger’s Wine Business International

Robert is a wine business consultant and an editorial consultant for Meininger’s Wine Business International, which he helped to launch in 2006. In 1983, after living in Burgundy for five years, he launched the Wine International magazine; set up the International Wine Challenge; became wine writer for the Sunday Telegraph and wrote his first book: The Wine Lists. He is the Chairman of the Wine Institute of Asia, and has chaired and launched wine competitions in several countries. Robert has been on the UK Who’s Who list since 2013, and the awards he has received include the Jacob’s Creek ‘Golden Vine’; ‘the Best Wine Guide in the World’; the Glenfiddich (twice); The Wine Guild of the United Kingdom Premier; the Marques de Caceres. He regularly appears on television and radio, and he is also regularly invited to lecture at the Wine & Spirits Educational Trust. Joseph is one of the trio behind Hugh Kevin & Robert Wines whose wines now sell over 2.5m bottles per year in 40 countries. His blog is The Joseph Report.

FRANCE

Bernard Burtschy

Columnist at Le Figaro

Bernard Burtschy is a wine columnist for Le Figaro (a French newspaper and Internet site) and for several magazines in the French press (including Paris-Match, Vigneron, Amateur de Vins et Spiritueux) as well as outside his native France (such as Wands in Japan, Feinschmecker in Germany). He is also President of the French Wine Press and Permanent Member of the Grand Jury Européen, the European wine tasting group. His family has always produced wine, both red and white. Bernard has always been fascinated by wine; he started by taking tasting courses at the Académie du Vin in Paris in 1977, then quickly became a tasting teacher and, from the early 1980s, a main contributor to the Revue du Vin de France, then to Gault & Millau. He also wrote about a number of vintages for the Eponymous Wine guides. Outside the world of wine, Bernard Burtschy is a professor of statistics at the École Supérieure des Télécommunications in Paris.

ITALY

Daniele Cernilli

Editor at Doctor Wine and Founder of Gambero Rosso

Daniele Cernilli is the Director of the online magazine Doctor Wine. After a Master’s Degree in Philosophy, he taught this discipline along with history and literature for a period but eventually he decided to move his career towards his passion, great food and wine. Daniele is a regular contributor to Italian newspapers, and trade and consumer publications; he has also written a number of technical books on wine and wine tasting. In 1986, he co-founded Gambero Rosso magazine which (together with Slow Food) began to publish an Italian Wine Guide annually; he oversaw this for more than 24 editions. Daniele often gives interviews to various Italian media outlets as a wine expert, and teaches professional courses at the “Città del Gusto” (Taste City). He got several awards for his contribution to food and wine culture, including the Gold Plaque from the “Associazione Enotecnici” and in 1999, Decanter listed Cernilli among the 50 most influential people in the wine world (2007-2008-2009).

ITALY

Gabriele Gorelli MW

Master of Wine, designer and sales and marketing consultant

Gabriele Gorelli was born in Montalcino in 1984. His grandfather used to be the smallest Brunello di Montalcino producer, accounting for a mere 0,46ha’s. That’s where he developed a real passion for wine. After completing his studies in Languages in 2004 he co-founded a wine-oriented advertising agency, Brookshaw&Gorelli. Over the years, he has had the opportunity to consult for many Italian wineries and Consortiums. In 2015, Gabriele started his studies at the ‘Institute of Masters of Wine’. He is now the sole Italian candidate at the final stage of the program.  During the same year, he co-founded KH Wines S.r.l., a company that helps European wineries in export markets. Nowadays, KH Wines holds a significant number of custom-made products designed from scratch, from the sensory profile end of the spectrum, to packaging, to storytelling.  Since 2019, he has been the ambassador for Italy at the ‘International Wine Challenge’ in London.

UK

Monty Waldin

Journalist at Decanter and author of 13 books on natural wines

Monty Waldin became the first wine writer to specialize in organic and biodynamic wines. He has worked in vineyards and wineries in both hemispheres, and was the subject of Chateau Monty, the first TV series to follow the making of a biodynamic wine from pruning to bottling for Britain’s Channel Four in 2008. He has written extensively about wine. His books include Biodynamic Wines, which was published in 2004 by Mitchell Beazley as part of its Classic Wine Library series. Monty Waldin’s Wines of South Africa won the 2004 “James Beard Foundation” award for best wine and spirits book. He also wrote the first comprehensive guide in Britain to organic and biodynamic wine, The Friends of the Earth Organic Wine Guide, which features more than 2,000 wines. He has been a regular contributor to The Ecologist, and writes the entries on organic, biodynamic and natural wine for the Oxford Companion to Wine (ed. Jancis Robinson MW OBE).

The Event

5StarWines – the Book is the wine selection event organised by Veronafiere. Held every year before Vinitaly, the event is now in its fifth edition. 5StarWines is a three-day tasting that puts the spotlight on all the wineries investing in improving their wines. A jury of highly qualified wine professionals from around the world will taste and rate the participating wines. More than 2,000 samples were entered in the 2020 edition of 5StarWines, the “Agile” edition. Of these, 847 were selected and included in the 5StarWines – the Book guide.

Get in touch with the Team

2020: the first “Agile” version

In 2020, the format of 5StarWines & Wine Without Walls was redesigned. Adapting to the provisions set up to counter the spread of COVID-19, the event is now the most secure version ever. Among the changes made:

The sending of wine samples. The bottles, once anonymised by the team, were sent in flights to each of the 50 international judges. Once the wines were received, the judges, connected by video conference from their country of residence, carried out the blind tasting.

The evaluation. The score out of 100 was given by the judges and recorded via a dedicated WebApp, continuously coordinated and supervised by the judges themselves and the team present in Verona.

The aim of the reinterpreted edition of 5StarWines and Wine Without Walls 2020 was to support the vitality of the wine industry. The transformation into a digital event turned out to be a double opportunity: it allowed us to prioritise the safety and security of all the operators involved, as well as to further strengthen relations with all the institutions and participants in the selection.

The Guide

5StarWines – the Book is the Guide to the wines selected during the event, a useful tool for wineries on both the promotional and commercial side.

It introduces the wines of the selected wineries to wine experts, international buyers and wine lovers from all over the world promoting them with tasting notes written by the judges of the selection.

The Guide acts as a quality guarantee for the wines it contains and certifies their value on the global market.

Browse the 2021 Guide

The whys

Why participate? Selected wines will benefit from:

  • Preferential promotional channel
  • Publication in the 5StarWines Guide – the Book
  • Inclusion of selected wines in the event’s digital catalogue and mailing to over 10,000 operators
  • Inclusion of selected wines in the Vinitaly Directory Catalogue and Vinitaly App
  • Upload of selected wines on winesearcher.com
  • Digital tasting notes on the social channels of the Selection
  • Awarding of diplomas and trophies
  • Interviews and Podcasts dedicated to the selected producers

Selected Wines

Wines that achieve a minimum score of 90/100 are published in the Guide. Out of more than 2000 samples tasted, 847 labels were selected in the “Agile” 2020 edition, of which 701 participated in 5StarWines and 146 in Wine Without Walls.

2020 Selected Wines

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